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Basic Law distortion led NPC to step in
(China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-05-04 09:10

The country's top legislature interpreted the Basic Law annexes on Hong Kong's electoral changes because some people in Hong Kong were distorting the mini-constitution.

Cheng Siwei, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), said this at a seminar in Macao yesterday.

"Some people in Hong Kong twisted the meaning of the Basic Law, and some did it deliberately," Cable TV quoted Cheng as saying yesterday.

The NPCSC took the initiative to interpret the two annexes of the Basic Law early last month, clarifying the legal procedures for Hong Kong's political reform if there is a need for change to the current electoral methods.

The country's top legislature also ruled out universal suffrage in Hong Kong in 2007/08, citing immature conditions.

Cheng stressed that the interpretation did not undermine the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, nor did it harm the "high degree of autonomy" Hong Kong enjoys.

He said that universal suffrage should proceed in a gradual and orderly manner and should balance the interests of all walks of life in the community.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong yesterday, speculation arose that Chief Secretary Donald Tsang was partly responsible for the resignation of famous radio talk show host Albert Cheng.

A spokesperson for Tsang said it was merely individual speculation and the chief secretary would continue to strive to propel the development of Hong Kong's constitutional reform.

Cheng said in a pre-recorded message aired on his farewell "Teacup in a Storm" yesterday that he felt enormous stress due to a "suffocating" political environment in Hong Kong recently.

He felt disappointed and unhappy because some of his good friends switched their political stance recently.

The spokesperson for Tsang called on all sides to unite and co-operate to devise a workable proposal on the constitutional development of Hong Kong.

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